Monday, 27 December 2010

The Shpilman Institute for Photography call for Grant submissions.

Just had an interview with these guys published over at the SIP blog and they're keen to support researchers - well worth a look.

"The Shpilman Institute for Photography (The SIP) announces open calls for general research on photography and for research on philosophy and photography.

The SIP invites scholars and independent researchers from all over the world to submit their applications through its website, where guidelines, themes, the application process, and submissions can be found. Also, Please find our posters in the links below.

Grants are based on proposals for research leading to the completion within the grant period of a written document, whether an essay or extended research paper. All submissions and papers for both the calls must be in English. Grants for individuals and group research will range from US $5,000 up to $15,000. Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2011."

Monday, 13 December 2010

Saturday, 11 December 2010

15 year old Tells Establishment to Stick-it.

In Solidarity with Jonathan Worth

.......The following is taken from Fred Ritchin's AfterPhotography blog

“So this week’s phonar class session had over 700 people “drop by” and reached over 42,000 people via Twitter , I’ve asked a few people for nominations of a book that “is notable/ inspiring/ seminal/ provocative, in it’s narrative structure/approach or perhaps in it’s ‘discussion’ of narrative”.
“Would you possibly mind nominating a tome ?”
There are three that come to mind (two short stories and a hypertextual poem):
“BORGES Y YO” (Borges and I), the extraordinary short story by Sr. Borges about him and him
“LAS BABAS DEL DIABLO” (The Devil’s Spittle), Julio Cortázar’s short story about photography, literature and life, with shifting pronouns, translated as “Blow-Up” for the Antonioni movie that it did and did not inspire
“CENT MILLE MILLIARDS DE POÈMES” (One Hundred Thousand Billion Poems), by Raymond Queneau, the simplest and most beautiful of hypertext poems, from 1961

The final list will appear at

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Words and pictures ... a brainstorm of Photography Books

Yesterday I forwarded a tweet from fellow Photographer Adele Reed ( @thecatbath ) who was looking for photobooks/photographers that used words and pictures - what followed was a flurry of brainstorming inspiration from some great people who happened to be tuned in at the same time.

Below are the results - please drop anything into comments that's missing and I'll update.

From the seemingly inexhaustible Wayne Ford

Les Krims
Making Chicken Soup

Ana Atkins
Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions

Vladimir Mayakovsky and Alexander Rodchaeno
Pro Eto. Ei i Mne

Will McBride
Show Me! A Picture Book of Sex for Children and Parents

Klaus Staeck

Bill Burke
I Want to Take Pictures

Christian Boltanski
Inventairedes objects ayant appartenu a une femme de Bois-Colombes

Christian Boltanski

Sophie Calle
La Fille du docteur

Jim Goldberg
Raised by Wolves

Jim Goldberg
Open See

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy
Malerei Fotografie Film

Vitezslav Nezal
ABECEDA: Tanecni komposice

Paul Strand and Claude Roy
La France de profil

Marc Attali and Jacques Delfau
Les Erotiques du regard

Sanne Sannes
Sex a Gogo

Kikuji Kawada

Julian Schnabel, Alec Soth's collaboration with Lester B. Morrison.
Lee Friedlander's 'Letters from the People.'
Oh, and the constructivist photographers, Rodchenko etc.
What about Horst P. Horst's classic Vogue cover were models made up magazine logo?

From Aaron Guy
Joel Sternfeld When it changed is an interesting use of image and text. You should asked @wayneford he may have info.
@wayneford cancel my last suggestion I see he is on the case.
@c0llinsphoto or if needed either DHurn or MPower are options.
Robert Frank - Story lines Jim Goldberg - rich poor to open see Ed Templeton - age of neglect
Mark Power - shipping forecast 26different endings etc use text with the image John Kippin - check his large exhibits
Maybe try fashion mags like Tar or Pop.
last one and a wild card but worth a look John Wood try the book on the edge of clear meaning.
Julian Germain 'in soccer wonderland' & 'In soccer wonderland' stamp collection
definitely the last. Julian Germain 'War Memorial' I have just looked love it.

Got one sample here:

Fay Godwin did at least one book with the great poet Ted Hughes.
Just looking through the shelves and saw Wim Wenders - Once. Text and photos. Once I did etc + photo. Like that one.
Larry Towell's book The World From... lots of writing, music, text, family history, poems
Robert Frank/Thank You. Little book with postcards written to him by fans/frends. Love this

"Trip" by Susan Lipper "Philosophers" (although I'm sure that was the 1st 1 you thought of)

Wayne Ford's Photography and Narrative #phonar book list.

"Wayne Ford, author of ‘Wayne Ford’s Posterous’ has compiled a list of some key photobooks in relation to narrative. Some books you will have heard of, and some will be new, enjoy!
ALSO – stay tuned for a new phonar book list next week. Inspired by Wayne’s post here, we have contacted a selection of world’s most inspiring practitioners and thinkers for their own recommendations "

.. see the full post at

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Dear Twitter, where can I find a comprehensive listing of Photography exhibitions ?

Earlier on I asked where could find a comprehensive listing of London Photography exhibitions and these kind tweeps shared the following :

@mattlainphoto : This covers the UK and all arts but may be useful..

@prophotomag : I wish we had a definitive list but try searching for 'photography' on

@Joeydjima :

@NewPhotoDigest : Combine Time Out with the #Photomonth brochure? (Yeah, you're right, that's two!)

Thank you.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

New blog launch for #phonar

The Photography and Narrative class will now run from it's dedicated blog at:

Classes start Wednesday the 13th September, there's a preparatory task to complete prior to the first session.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Photography and Narrative - preparation.

Intro to the course:

As described in my post here, "Photography and Narrative" is a third year BA Hons Photography class taught at Coventry University in the UK.

Timetable structure and assignments will follow, however, and unfortunately due to copyright restrictions I won't be able to publish all the material that I'll be using for inspiration and reference. I can though, list artists and subjects I'll be talking about in lectures, and where possible, I'll teach from material that's openly available to all.

The Hashtag for the course is #phonar please use this so we can search your Tweets. If you don't know what a Hashtag is then you can learn about them here ,then why not join our Twub!
Likewise you're encouraged to share any expanded research (the purpose of our open forums and discussion), if there's a pertinent subject or practitioner that should be included then please do comment or tweet it and I'll endeavour to include an update accordingly.

Intro to the class:

This class sits at the foot of the third and final year for our students, as such it's purpose is to inspire, challenge and maybe even provoke the student into producing a number of photographic responses. There's no demand for projects be polished final artifacts when submitted, instead the emphasis is on generating ideas and leads that inform final major degree projects.

Collaboration with both subjects and other practitioners will be a constant theme, as will investigating notions of ownership and authorship.

Preparation for first class back:

In preparation for this module you should continue to garner images every day, either by making photographs or collecting them.

When editing your photographs you should title each with a single word.

At the end of each week you should group the pictures into sets.

You should consider each picture a word within a sentence.

From this material please prepare one or more short photographic poems or aphorism for the first session back after the Summer break (Wednesday 13th Oct).

These will be reviewed by John Levy of FOTO8 Magazine at Host Gallery in London.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Photography and Narrative : A Free Undergraduate Photography Class.


As of October the 13th, 2010 I'll be leading an undergraduate photography class entitled 'Photography and Narrative'.My role is to consider how 21st Century Photographic Practice might be taught and to develop a relevant approach. From this we came up with the course's core tenet of the "development of a sustainable practice" (earth shattering, I know).

The notion being that, by making the course's philosophy a moving target it would respond, grow and evolve positively and continually. We understand that the people who will dictate what a Photographer will be in the 21st century aren't people like us - rather it will be the generations of digital natives that we would (ironically) be teaching. And so our notion was that we would enter into a community of shared learning where we shared our technical and artisanal experience whilst learning of how to apply these skills from the social and digital habits of our pupils.

And so, largely in keeping with this ethos I plan to open this class out freely, to the broader community of NewPhotographics, hence this post. There'll be no formal qualifications for anyone posting in via twitter, but neither is there pressure for the online student to do the whole class - drop in, drop out as you wish, the virtual door is open .... and the kettle is usually on.

Classes are always structured so as to pose difficult thematic problems at the outset, the resolutions of which will form a final submission. The structure of the course then forces the student through week by week problem solving to make early 'marks on the page' (so to speak) and in doing so (with peer support) solve the initial problems in their own manner, thereby developing their own practice.

There is no in-house aesthetic nor style and the modus operandi is inclusive - you just need an internet connection and a love of story telling.

The formal structure of the classes include lectures, seminars, technical instruction, visiting practitioners and site visits - these things will not all be available to the NewPhotographic participant, though as much of the content as possible will be published live, so enabling the virtual student to participate in the post lecture open forums and final submissions.

Hopefully see you soon.


Cosset Your Geek

Here's a fun three hundred words I was asked to write for Pixel-live magazine:

I envy the opportunities of camera manufacturers as they of all people, have the chance to harness the terrifying power of the geek.

The geek is an avid collector, an expert in their field and a font of knowledge. They’re the person one goes to when faced with a buying quandary. They’re the trusted source who will actively search out the very best answer and probably come back with options for various hitherto unconsidered scenarios. In so doing the geek will probably turn your initial quandary into a multiplicity of micro dilemmas which, once navigated, will lead you into the dangerous realm of justified expenditure and easy credit.

What geeks have in specialist authority theytend to lack in social skills. Conversely the socially prominent individual must be many things to many different people and so (unless polymathic) will defer to the trusted source that is: the geek. They, in turn will broadcast this reliably informed advice to their broad social circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances so sowing a crop of potentially active customers.

Or not.

The immediacy and global reach of social media has enabled geeks to find each other and bloom like algae. It’s architecture has enabled them to find and be found by their symbiotic socially influential partners, who, in turn are able to reach the sorts of specialist audiences that would have been unimaginable five years ago, let alone fifty (Twitter is only three years old, Facebook is only six).

The best bit of all is that they do it (the geeks) because they have to, they are genetically programmed to geekiness, just as the socialiser can’t stop talking, geeks love shiny stuff with buttons. The challenge for all of us is to work out who and where our geeks are. They’re preferred habitats are the shady areas around bulletin boards, news groups and blog comment sections but they do venture out occasionally into the open on Twitter.

They can be encouraged to flock when coveted product information is laid out and some can be tamed this way - unlike their socialiser brethren. Do not be tempted to tame or buy a socialiser, it doesn’t work, spend the money on another customer service agent instead and think of it as the organic alternative.

So there we have it: behold the power of the geek and woe betide whomsoever chooses not to.

Inviting people in to the creative moment.

There is without doubt a real currency in inviting one's audience into the creative process. I wrote about this in another post but I think it bears out here still.

"The mechanics of how he does what he does are also detached from the end product. You read his books, you don't watch him write them, and so there's an element of mystery, wherein for the fan there's an inherent value. ................ the trick is enabling every level of fan to access their particular version of the product."

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Stephen Mayes interview

Always an inspiration, Stephen Mayes continues to articulate with clarity and authority the photographic realities which we all face, along with the opportunities that only some perceive.

Thank you Gerald Holubowicz for this fantastic interview and resource.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

European Parliament TV: Focus on Copyright

Here's the documented shredding of the Cory Doctorow prints 03.32 - 05.22, with a lively chat about copyright and copy-wrong afterward . Be sure not to miss the 'industry and artist representative' who dictates what artists want in complete contradiction of the two artist case studies that precede her.

(At risk of repeating myself - excuse me) I hope the kid in the bedroom does make screensavers or a fansite mash-up out of my images, likewise the blogger when illustrating their articles. I ask them to credit me (BY), (preferably to link), not to charge anyone to access it (NC) and that they share any mash-ups with the same (share alike) license.

To misquote an oft repeated mantra : 'obscurity is my professional enemy, not piracy'.

If you're a magazine, TV company, Advertising agency, ring-fenced online newspaper or other entity (now in existence or to be birthed in the future), and you would like to use my image to enhance your 'paid-for' content, then email me for my usage rates and I'll be happy to quote you.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Gerry Badger talks to Joachim Shmid on being Martin Parr for a day.

The following was AudioBoo-ed from the Host Gallery "Dummy to Genius" workshop with Chris Steele Perkins, Gerry Badger, Joachim Schmid and David Gray - here Gerry recounts a cwazy story about Martin and Joachim pretending to be each other.

Those guys..


Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Photography BA Teaching Assistant sought.

Coventry University are seeking to appoint a Photography Teaching Assistant to work closely alongside senior staff,
the gist of the pitch as far as I'm aware is below, as soon as I have the application link I'll post it but it will be on this page (linked here). Updated link here

The Photography BA Hons. has begun to establish itself at the forefront of its field within two years of opening the doors, and both Staff and students have won awards nationally and internationally for their work.

The degree's core tenet is to actively research and embed sustainable working practices throughout and beyond the course, with an outward facing philosophy that pro-actively connects with like-minded, global communities of learner practitioners.

We actively consider the roles of photographers and photography in the digital age, both in the broad social context and with respect to arcane, artisanal practices.

We value artisanal practice very highly and are excited by the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital age.

I don't know what the rate is I think it's
£22-30,000 GBP ($33,500 - 45,500 USD or € 26,500 - 36,000 EURO)

They'll also be hiring a Senior Lecturer too very soon, I'll post the link to that as soon as I have it.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

RSA Fellow's Profile

Jonathan Worth FRSA, a photographer, talks here of his work in the industry and challenging the traditional ways of working:

"Through my practice as a photographer and recently in my role at Coventry University, I research, develop and share new business models, and modes of working for photographers. My academic role is specifically to open out our teaching strategies to invite in the broader global community, engage the students with international practitioners and practices."

On joining the Fellowship: "I was very flattered to be asked to join, in recognition of my work. Specifically noted was a live trial that applied lessons learned from the sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow (who makes money from giving his books away free). This involved what Chris Anderson in his book "Free", calls 'versioning'. It meant in this case, allowing people to download my images for free but also enabling them to purchase a range of "exclusive" versions of the same thing. In a nutshell; Free brought a wave of followers and granted me access to people who demanded a premium product."

On contributing to Fellowship/Society: "Hopefully I can contribute as part of a conversation about the topics mentioned above. My role at Coventry University enables me to learn a great deal from the young people that I work with, helping me to begin to understand how their digital media habits will shape our futures. And likewise how we and they, might use those habits to inform our practices."

On what he would change in society given the chance: "As the internet is providing new architectures for collaborative learning, I'd remove traditional (broadcast) 'hierarchical modes of teaching', stop tethering learners to single location based institutions and recognise new, and ongoing, qualifying criteria."

On a recent bit of news which inspired him: "I heard that the photographer Rob Hornstra is putting into practice a lot of the ideas that I’ve been talking about on my blog and doing so very successfully. He has been featured at the New York Photo festival this year, which I think is fantastic. I describe his work on my blog."

On another Fellow he has spoken to: "Cory Doctorow and Jon Levy are inspirations to me, with both being very patient and generous in their support."

On connecting with other Fellows: "I always love to meet people trying to exploit the very things that most threaten their traditional modes of working. On a more practical note, I’m currently sourcing families of serving military personnel for a photographic project about the invisible and involuntary support network on which our soldiers rely. Broadly it is a quiet homage to those mums, dads, sisters, wives, children etc.

If you would like to be involved please contact me directly via my website,
by email:
by telephone: +44 (0)7900 801 430
or skype: jDubbyah"

Jonathan Worth by Paul Wright © 2009

Monday, 14 June 2010

$26,000 worth of Ltd Edition Recycling.

"$26,000 worth of unsold limited edition prints and signed manuscript pages ready to be recycled /transformed into a new work of art."

On Friday 11th June Jonathan shredded of the unsold prints and signed manuscript pages from Cory Doctorow’s ‘For The Win’ novel. The event was filmed by European Parliament Television and will be aired as part of a program on New Economies of Photography.
More background on this story can be found here. With a longer write-up here.

BBC Radio Interview

I did a kind of a 'Soundtrack to your life' type interview last week where you pick a song and tell a story - it's not a great story  - more of a story-ette really.



Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Burning The Originals

So, true to my word I'll be destroying the remaining prints and signed "For The Win' manuscript pages, likewise there'll be no more editions, and no discounting. I promised the buyers of the prints that I'd do this only after putting the images on sale a second time to coincide with the official publication date. That's now approaching a month passed.

You can still buy the remaining signed prints and corresponding signed manuscript pages as well as the last of three massive  1mx1.5m composite prints - this one is the artist's (my) own. Cory owns one, and a collector in Australia bought the the other.

The destruction event will take place on Friday 11th June and will be filmed by , the web TV station of the European Parliament. 

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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Documentary Photography essential reading list.

Looking for inspiration I just tweeted a request for recommended essential reading on Documentary Photography.

Here's the list, any comments I'll add to the list.

"5000+ Days: Press Photography in a Changing World" by BPPA
"After Photography" by Fred Ritchin
"Beautiful Suffering" by M. Reinhardt
"Case History" by Boris Mikhailov
"Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue" by Eugene Richards
"Disciplinary Frame: Photographic Truths and the Capture of Meaning" by John Tagg
"Dorchester Days" by Eugene Richards
"Life of a Photograph" by Sam Abell
"No Caption Needed" by Robert Hariman 
"On Being a Photographer" by Bill Hurn and David Jay
"The Knife and Gun Club: Scenes from an Emergency Room" by Eugene Richards
"The Ongoing Moment" by Geoff Dyer 
"Things as They are: Photojournalism in Context Since 1955" by Mary Panzer, Christian Caujolle and World Press Photo.

Thank you to these generous sharers, all photo-people well worth a follow on Twitter :


Friday, 16 April 2010

A crowd sourced living portrait

 More inspiration from Aaron Koblin with further examples of how providing a platform for fans to gather can provide a powerful force to lever. In this case to re-draw frame by frame an entire Johnny Cash video. And you can join in too at the

Read the full article at FastCompany here.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Clay Shirky's TED talk on the social media revolution.

This is worth fifteen minutes of every media practitioner's time but if you've not got the full fifteen then the last few lines resonated loud and clear from 14.30 beginning "The media landscape that we knew ..... where professionals broadcast to slipping away....  how can we make best use of this medium? Even though it means changing the way we've always done things."

Thanks @jeffjarvis

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

"Too Perfect to Print" (you're a copyright infringer until you prove otherwise).

Two weeks ago a Joanna Ornowska (student of mine) came to me. She was frustrated that she'd been unable to have some images printed at a local pharmacy. The story has since been reported widely and now circulates freely in various forms, no doubt continuing to evolve as it lives it's own life as 'content'.

It came out as we were poring over yet another edit of her project detailing her recovery from skin cancer and Hepatitis C. We were wrapping up when she asked if I'd also write a letter to confirm that she was my photography student. She went on to explain how she'd made some pictures for a friend but when that friend had tried to have them printed, the store clerk refused, because the images were "too professional". She (the friend and subject of the photographs) would have to prove that they were hers to print.

Joanna didn't know how she could do this - she'd since gone to the store with her friend the clerk hadn't believed her. She'd not embedded any file information (as she normally would) because she'd no intention of keeping the images. She'd made them (in camera) away from University as a quick gift, a favour for a friend to take home to her family in Poland. That was the end of it.

How could she now prove that she hadn't stolen these images and was in the act of having someone else illegally infringe another party's copyright?

The clerk demanded a headed letter (does anyone still emboss their stationary?) with her business address and details on it. She explained that she was a student and not self-employed yet,  could she instead bring a letter from her University ?

The clerk wouldn't accept a letter from me (her tutor) to confirm that she was a photography student of mine.

I tweeted the story.

We worked on the premise that out of this frustration we would make something good. We would raise her profile and use Boots' to do it; did you see the work that she does copyright by the way? It's very good, you really should, here.

There are though a bunch of other things that interest and concern me with this little story:

The issues of Authorship versus Ownership (ironically I see that Joanna isn't being credited in many of the picture usages and to the best of my knowledge is receiving no fees).

The life of content once we release a digital version into the internet (many of the stories have varying details and often fail to mention Joanna by name).

How we perceive and value the life of that content (often inappropriately applying analogue attitudes and sensibilities).

And most pertinent today (as the Digital Economy bill is debated in the UK House of Commons): the default action of a store to arbitrarily assume an individual to be guilty, until they're able to (again arbitrarily) prove their innocence.


Thursday, 11 March 2010

Steve's Pyke's party tips

Just came across this nifty little chat; my friend and mentor Steve Pyke in New York driving with Jay , if you're not familiar with his work then cast your eye over the archive of this most prolific and generous photographer here.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Should You Pay to Have Your Portfolio Reviewed by an Agent?

Here is an excerpt from my most recent post over at Blackstar Rising.

I sent a tweet out the other day asking, “What do people think about portfolio reviews that cost £250?”

I couldn’t fit it all within Twitter’s 140 character limit, but I was specifically referring to an event where photographers could have their books reviewed in 20 minute meetings with three different photography agents.

Such an event is certainly worthwhile for those hosting it — 20 minutes per review x 10 experts x 8 hours = £60,000 in revenue for the day. But is it worth it to those who pay to attend?

“Agents You Just Never Can Get Hold Of”

A few Twitter friends responded that paid portfolio reviews are worthwhile and help a lot of people. Others — including a couple of experienced reviewers — informed me that these events are hit and miss, largely due to the process, which can cause fatigue and rapid photo-blindness among reviewers.

Most respondents were as shocked about the price, and cynical about the value, of such reviews as I was.

To be clear, I believe that having your work honestly reviewed by someone whose opinion you trust is valuable and worthwhile. For example, the two reviewers who responded to my tweet would be among my prime targets for insightful critical input.

But pricey events like this one pitch themselves differently — offering you a chance to meet “agents you just never can get hold of.”

And what is the value of meeting people like this, exactly? .........

The full article is here.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Rob Hornstra talking about the future of photojournalism

The Slow Photojournalism, NOW. As evidenced by the Working Practices of Rob Hornstra over at NY Photo Festival.


Here's a longer interview with Hornstra by Joerg Colberg in which he picks his working practices apart further.

"I don't view self-publishing as extra work. It is a part of my work and actually one of the parts, which I like the most. I don't see myself as a photographer in a way that I am always carrying a camera or that I always need to make pictures. I never make pictures, only when I am working on a documentary. Actually, I think when asked for my occupation I should answer that I am not a photographer, but a documentary maker. In this profession you need to do lots of things: Organizing money, a lot of self-study, of course making photos, publishing books, writing articles etc etc. Making photos is only a small part of the job." RH.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Auto Screencast teaching tool.

I just came across this in my twitter stream (c/o @geekami ) and it's marketed as a 'help you friends and family' type app. The software sends a url via email to the person you're looking to help, they follow the link and from this new page they record a screen cast. The software then automates the upload and sends you an email to say that the movie is ready to be viewed.

I'm thinking this is a really quick and simple solution for the remote student, and as the movies are easily downloaded, a quick return movie showing the correct method or solution to the student's original problem, could be auto embedded into a FAQ section removing the need to do it again. ( #ReducedWorkloadTeachingJoy )

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